China’s state-run Global Times on Tuesday criticized President Donald Trump for setting a “poor example” by returning to the White House so quickly after undergoing three days of treatment for the Wuhan coronavirus.
The Global Times mocked Trump’s supposedly extravagant “VIP treatment” at the Walter Reed medical center and rounded up some Chinese “experts” to pronounce that he was setting a “bad example for his supporters” by returning to work so quickly because ordinary people could not receive the same quality of care that Trump enjoyed.
The Chinese “experts” were furious at Trump for not remaining quarantined and convalescent:
“Trump has not fully recovered from the virus yet. He remains in the early stages of the illness and great uncertainty still remains,” Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
“He has access to the best medical resources, so it is more likely he will recover. But meanwhile, as a 74-year-old man, his illness could worsen at any time.” Yang said that Trump is unlikely “a patient with only mild symptoms”.
“His illness might be more serious, that’s why he was hospitalized. He should not be discharged so soon and let run around… it could negatively influence the American public and has the risk of spreading the virus to anyone nearing him,” Yang said.
Another Chinese academic, professor Li Haidong of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, accused Trump of displaying “arrogance concerning the virus.”
“He is eager to return to the presidential election without having to undergo a strict quarantine process. He has set a very bad example for the country and the world by saying the virus is not something to be afraid of,” Li said.
The Global Times fumed that Trump was given doses of remdesivir, “which has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” The Chinese paper implied Trump employed some special privileges or underhanded methods to obtain the drug.
The FDA, in reality, broadened its emergency authorization for the use of remdesivir in late August to “include treatment of all hospitalized adult and pediatric patients with suspected or laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 [coronavirus], irrespective of their severity of disease.”
Another Global Times editorial accused Trump of “making use of his [coronavirus] infection to keep himself in the media spotlight to strengthen his base and stimulate more votes for him.”
More Chinese “experts” were called upon to proclaim that Trump and his campaign team would “play the illness card,” unfairly using his recovery from the coronavirus to motivate his supporters and generate sympathy from the broader public. They also repeated the criticism that Trump’s eagerness to leave the hospital and get back on the campaign trail was unseemly and dangerous.
The Chinese Communist paper praised Trump’s rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, for showing “a different attitude toward the disease” and “sending a message that he cares more about the health of ordinary Americans.”